Organizers of the UBS Hong Kong Open are preparing to roll out the red carpet for the tournament's first ever champion -- the legendary Lu Liang-huan (
Lu put Asian golf on the world map when he finished runner-up to Lee Trevino in the 1971 British Open and has accepted an invitation to be guest of honor at the US$2 million event later this month.
The 70-year-old Lu will conduct a ceremonial tee-off when the tournament is staged at the Hong Kong Golf Club on Nov. 16-19. After winning his first Hong Kong title Lu played an exhibition match in the territory in 1964 against US superstar Arnold Palmer, who was so impressed he invited him to play in the US.
He appeared in dozens of high-profile tournaments in the US and played in the Masters at Augusta.
But it was in 1971, at the 100th British Open at Royal Birkdale, that he became famous, going toe-to-toe with Trevino before the American prevailed by a single shot.
A week later Lu won the French Open at Biarritz, becoming the first Asian ever to capture a European Tour title.
Nowadays he supports junior golf development in Taiwan.
Lu will be honored at a function on Nov. 14 when guests including Colin Montgomerie, Retief Goosen and Michael Campbell will be shown a video montage of his greatest moments.